Let’s face it, one of the biggest departures from the 2019 Miami Dolphins didn’t even have an official NFL licensed jersey with his name on it.
No, I am not talking about Adam Gase. I am talking about the king of spending, the former Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Mike Tannenbaum!
When Tannenbaum had a major say on how Miami spent its money on talent, you knew the Dolphins were always in play for the big money free agents like Ndamukong Suh.
In 2015, the Miami Dolphins made Suh the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history at the time, with a six-year contract worth in excess of $114 million.
We all know that the Dolphins were sellers last year, but does that mean the top dollar guys are off the table?
Two constants during Miami’s past spending sprees are General Manager Chris Grier and owner Stephen Ross. While I do believe they are committed to a sustainable rebuild, these guys have proven that they like nice things.
My mother always said, “Old habits die hard,” and with a projected cap space of over $88M, they can go after anyone they want.
After last season, the Miami Dolphins will be looking at upgrades on both sides of the ball, so let’s look at the Offensive and Defensive Free Agent that Miami should break the bank for.
Defense: Jadeveon Clowney – Defensive End
“The Bold Move!”
If the rumors are true from last year, there was interest by the Miami Dolphins in acquiring Clowney before he was ultimately traded from the Houston Texans to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Dolphins missed Cameron Wake’s production in 2019, but in hindsight it looks like this was the right time to move on. Wake seemed to finally be losing to the undefeated father time while dealing with injuries in Tennessee.
Jadeveon Clowney has had his share of injuries, but with the exception of his rookie season, has played in no less than 13 games in a season. Clowney is also on the right side of 30 at 27 years of age.
One might counter by saying he has never had a double digit sack total in any season, but his stat line is deceiving.
Clowney is a flat out game wrecker. The 6-5, 255lb defensive end has nine forced fumbles in 6 seasons, including four in 2019 alone. He also has seven fumble recoveries. If you need more convincing just watch the tape.
Offense: Derrick Henry – Running Back
“The Big Move!”
Isn’t it ironic that the Dolphins have been searching for a quarterback since Marino retired and in a year where Phillip Rivers, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, and Teddy Bridgewater are all potentially available; I am saying break the bank for a running back!
Those QBs don’t fit today’s Dolphins system for one reason or another, but with a treasure trove of high draft picks, the future signal caller will probably come from the draft.
Miami’s leading rusher last season was quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick with a total of 243 yards. Derrick Henry rushed for over 200 yards in a single game in the same season.
The 247 pound back rushed for a league-high 1540 yards and 16 touchdowns in 15 games last season.
But why Derrick Henry?
Two words, Ryan Tannehill!
Henry did what the Dolphins were trying to do for Tannehill throughout his career for Miami; make him a Pro Bowl, Playoff winning Quarterback.
Imagine what Derrick Henry could do for the Miami Dolphins quarterback of the future.
So while the Dolphins should still spend responsibly, they must make the most of this years Free Agency.